Tag Archives: PULP Magazine

WHAT HAPPENED TO “THE BOTTOM LINE?”

Working in the heart of Queerville at World Gym Palm Springs gives me prime placement for knowing what’s happening around town and who exactly is making it happen. In the last month I have had an amazing amount of people who have finally tuned in to the fact that The Bottom Line and PULP are no longer landing on newsstands and wanted to find out why.

As many know I wrote a bi-monthly installment for PULP called “Steven Spills” and was often found in TBL as a cover story contributor and feature columnist. I enjoyed the notoriety with the magazines considering they were considered at one time the premiere LGBT newsmagazine in the Coachella Valley. Those days seem to have come and gone.

I enjoyed getting to know my readers and having the opportunity for them to learn more about me, Palm Springs’ gay culture and beyond. PULP began an online-only version of its magazine in January 2012 after many a rumor had been tossed my way months before about the imminent change. I was thwarted when asking about what I was hearing. “We will let all the writers know ahead of time,” was replied back when I quizzed. Well, no that didn’t happen. I was made aware after it had been decided, not that I had any say about it or the changes.

Once the transition to Internet took place and PULP disappeared from the stands around town, I wrote another four columns for their online version before taking a final bow and stepping aside. The line of communication had long since vanished between us. I felt as if my Steven Spills stories had ran their course and seen its time. So I sent a “Sincerely Yours” letter to the publishers and not surprisingly had zero response. When I was once told that I was “part of the family now” I naturally took those words for what they were worth. Not much.

As far as The Bottom Line story goes it has been up for sale on a website called Hughes Properties for months. They also vacated their offices on Palm Canyon Drive a while back. The last issue that was published seems to have hit stands in July according to their website that is actually still online but hasn’t been updated lately. I was told that they had sent out email notices about taking a hiatus which seems to be the last anyone has heard anything.

Unfortunately, we no longer have much along the lines of smart LGBT reporting for gay news here in Palm Springs. When someone is ready to start something of worth call me. I’m interested! And so are others.

And people ask if the magazine is coming back. My immediate thoughts are I’d be so surprised if they do. Both magazines, The Bottom Line and PULP, had quite the run and peak in popularity. I’m glad I was part of that. It would be nice if they were able to return. The experience made me a better writer and smarter storyteller. I thank them for that.

So now you know…

ONE CHAPTER ENDS: “STEVEN SPILLS” 2008-2012

I’ve been asked lately by various readers, followers and friends what has happened to PULP magazine and if I’m still involved writing for them. One minute the magazines are on the stands and the next they are surprisingly not! Yes, I know. The answers are that PULP has gone online only and no, I’m no longer involved. With changing times and the deteriorating magazine lifespan these days, the publishers decided to offer the magazine in an online capacity only. Although, they will still be publishing a print form of sister magazine The Bottom Line available on stands.

When I signed on in 2008 to write a biweekly column at PULP it began as a who-did-what-to-whom type installment with weekend happenings and the local flavor of the moment in Palm Springs. However, quickly realizing that since I do not go out very often and the opportunity for social exploring is limited in our quiet town, I started steering my stories into the flow of hot popular culture themes and whatever was on my mind and psyche at any given time. Luckily, the magazine went along with what I was doing and a legion of thirsty readers followed and picked up the magazine when it hit the stands to see what I’d say next! Every once in a while I’d get some feedback about covering this or watch being too editorial  regarding that but overall I was free to do my thing and the magazine trusted me.

I wrote a total of 113 installments of “Steven Spills” for PULP, the last 4 of them headed straight online. I also contributed a number of cover stories  and features to The Bottom Line and hope to possibly write for them again in a freelance form. Not sure where that stands. Sadly haven’t heard from them since I sent in my resignation letter a few weeks ago saying I needed a break. I honestly felt that my column had ran its course and decided to invest my energy and interest into my own blogs with hopes in finishing a second novel. I almost quit writing for the magazine a handful of times over the years but always found the reason I never did was because of you, my readers. I always did it for you! Sometimes the brick wall was almost too tall to climb over. All writers feel this, I’m sure.

It’s time to do it of me. Thanks for being there and I hope you find me here with everything I really want to say, without edit of heavy hand. To know me is to understand that I am honest, candid, and surprising. As my words can slice and dice, they come from a real place of compassion and optimism. I hope (and know) people can see that. Thanks for reading! No Tea, No Shade. Peace Only. X

TAKING THAT EXTRA FIVE

STEVEN SPILLS © 110

TAKING AN EXTRA FIVE

I actually got this idea from a stray copy of Glamour magazine that was laying around the gym. Yes, I read it for the hot trends and pictures of gorgeous women I’ll never be. No comments, Sassy? It seemed like a fun way of sharing timely advice and a few opinions on how to make the most out of things that are worth taking the extra five minutes to do!

We are all in a hurry. Well, those of us who work jobs and have lives outside them seem to have much less time to do things than those that who, for whatever reason, do not work. Yes, I’m trying to be a strong victim. However, there are certain things and special times that we ALL need to stop and cherish or option those extra five minutes into something worthy of the pause.

After a long day at work or day trip away, you’ve arrived home damn tired. Yes, I concur. But, guess what? You’ve interacted with people, talked to them and been places. Your pets have not. Man’s Best Friends stayed in the house quietly and worship the attention and love you express to them after spending the day alone. Take the extra five (preferably more) minutes and really give them that undivided love and attention that they unconditionally give back to you.

In a hurry? STOP! Glance in the mirror and check your nose for dried accouterment and your teeth for poppy seeds or parsley. Look directly at yourself smizing (smiling with your eyes, according to Tyra) and tell yourself “You are beautiful!” in your most prolific preacher voice with your index finger pointing at your reflection just because it’s true.

Take time at the grocery store and read the labels of the food you’re buying. When the real ingredients underscore the preservatives by far, things are bad. Learn about what it takes to keep a healthy heart. When words that would make you loose a Spelling Bee are involved the end result probably isn’t ideal for consumption. Read what you’re eating and feed on the truth of nutrition.

Leave five minutes early to everything you have to be at. Why are you rushing into Yoga class like the Tasmanian Devil? Namaste, right? I see you moving me along with your hands over the steering wheel as you drive behind me. Why didn’t you leave earlier? Confidence is being early which really means being on time. Running late is not sexy nor advised. And when you walk in, shoulders back.

Stay in touch and let your friends, BFFs, parents and family know you’re alive. Take those few minutes and just reach out to someone who cares and that you care about. Even taking time to speak to someone you may not know or that could be going through something you’re unaware could very well mean a lot to them. It takes more effort to avoid someone than to simply say, “Hello.”

When sending out online photos always take the moment to check what’s in your background and around you in the photo. Move the frame with grandma’s picture and step away from the wood paneling and rifle rack. Use time to snap some decent pictures of yourself. Take a bunch and delete the bad ones. Find your light and angles. The light should hit you between the eyes. Use your camera phone or go all out and check the Sony Cyber Optical Zoom Camera! WOW. If you’re using images with dates on them make sure they are somewhat current. Don’t push it, just crop it. Our little secret.

I have a new thing that I do when things start moving too fast around me. I imagine jumping high in the air before l land digging my heels deep into bricks as they break underneath me stopping just before hitting an imaginary wall in slow-mo. That tunes me down and I enjoy a calming breath. Using just five special minutes to take it down a notch will keep one more focused and present in the now.

Order some business cards or calling cards online so you don’t have to brother your bartenders or gym staff for a pen and paper (or shudder — matchbox) for your trick, err, coffee date. Vista Print is amazing for cheap and on-the-quick ordering online. Before you know it, they’ve arrived on your doorstep! Voila!

Pick up your remote if you have time between shows and channel surf into waves of television. Learn about something new, perhaps. Get lost in the gem shopping channels or BBC News. Just escape! If it’s only for five minutes take a break for yourself. You deserve more but can’t afford it, I know. Neither can I. Nor can I afford more words. Goodbye!

2012 © PULP

Need more great gift ideas for the fabulous gay men in your life? Shopping ahead! Spend your money wisely and safely with trusty Amazon holding control.

STEVEN TAKES SIN CITY

STEVEN SPILLS © 109

ONE NIGHT IN HEAVEN

As we all know by now that what happens in Vegas during one of my fabulous trips is told here with every gruesome detail of debauchery. Quick recap if you’re just joining in… I love Las Vegas! Always have, always will. OK, with that said, let’s dig into the ultimate sin of having your cake and eating it, too! This is how I celebrated my birthday — my way, in Sin City during the New Years’ holiday.

I turned forty-something on 01/01 or as many call it “thirty-nine for another year.” The husband and I aren’t into big parties so we always discuss how to spend our special days respectively and that’s how we do it. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and I have a very nice relationship with one another. The place is sick! I couldn’t think of a better location for our one night getaway. This stunning resort offers everything I need for comfort and joy. Unique surroundings celebrating individuality of the guest delivering immediate results for every person’s whim or desire. And those magnificent open-air balconies are decadent.

The anticipation grew within me as flashy billboards that dress the sides of I-15 heading into Las Vegas increased in volume and intensity. Since laying low on New Year’s Eve and saving our mojo for Sin City, we lived vicariously through the bright marquees that told of The Dutchess Fergie strutting her “Fergaliciousness” at Mirage, Mary J. Blige bringing her diva style to RPM Nightclub at Tropicana and Kim Kardashian collecting her $600,000 paycheck at TAO at The Venetian for ringing in NYE.

Once we checked into The Cosmopolitan, we discovered that our upgraded suite faced the fabulous fountains of Bellagio. I was in heaven. That’s what I personally call The Cosmopolitan, “Heaven,” because it is. I immediately opened the sliding doors and caught the first of many fountain shows we would witness during our stay. We called down for the bags and within a blink they were delivered to our room and unpacked. Soon after, we headed over to Bally’s to pick up our tickets for Jubilee! and run the Strip for a few minutes before dinner.

The energy downstairs in the casino at The Cosmopolitan was still rowdy and right on target for ringing in the New Year from the night before. Wheel of Fortune slot machines shamelessly gobbled up the twenties we fed them as we strutted through. It didn’t ruin our good moods. However, it was when we entered Bally’s that there was some concern. Talk about Hunger Games.

We took the moving walkway up to Bally’s and entered. It was quite surreal being there considering the property was once MGM Grand where I would visit as an impressionable child with my parents. The hotel hasn’t changed much since then. As soon as we entered, this aggressive sales chick basically jumped on us sinking her teeth into us seeming concerned about our travel needs. I immediately replied, “Get to the pitch. We have to go.” She laughed and pushed us off on an anxious sales guy. We declined their offer and continued on to pick up the show tickets.

Downstairs I strolled through memory lane as we walked past shops where I once spent my trip allowance on Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Although, I don’t recall desperate sales dudes standing at kiosks offering what appeared to be counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Chanel iPhone cases at special deals “because it was a slow night.” The Strip called us back outside and we were off to enjoy a birthday ritual of shameless plunges into sushi and sake oblivion back at The Cosmopolitan.

With a few minutes to spare I slid into the sunken Japanese tub back in the room for a soak and got lost in the burning neon bulbs of the Strip that radiated before me. Ah, bliss. Once arriving downstairs to Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill we ordered a ton of delicious sushi displayed extravagantly on long boards and even had a generous round of sake complements of the resort. Luckily the walk over to Bally’s afterwards for the show would help walk off our amazing cuisine.

Jubilee! celebrates its 30th anniversary and is quite spectacular still today. Topless showgirls in stunning costumes of beads and rhinestones, grand sets that rise and fall throughout, and familiar songbook classics performed with heart and experience is what any theatre addict will find nightly inside the ballroom at Bally’s. It greatly satisfied the repressed showgirl deep inside me. It’s a must-see for any true Vegas junkie. You can bet on it!

2011 © PULP

OUR GAY CULTURE

STEVEN SPILLS © 108

JUST IN JANUARY

How are those resolutions going?! You know that if you’re going to change something you should just start now not later. When you are serious about the switch from what’s-happening-wrong to make-it-better-you then you’re not going to wait. Just do it! (As the Nike campaign instructs.) If slowing down and taking that needed breath is what’s on order, take that few seconds to hit the breaks on the chaos of life. When a fire could perk up your work speed or dream chasing, imagine walking on hot coals barefooted and get moving.

January brings in tons of popular culture collectables including devastating drag queens, salacious British extremists and red carpet gowns on award-winning actresses. Where do we begin? There’s so much going on that calendars are full and people busy. What more can we ask for? And as Joan Crawford, err, Faye Dunaway commanded in Mommie Dearest, “Now, let’s get to work.”

Well, Sweetie Darling. You do know that brand new episodes of that 90s smash cult hit Absolutely Fabulous are hitting Logo TV, in association with BBC America, throughout January. Everyone’s favorite duo is back! Edina and Patsy bring that absolute fabulousity that we’ve come to expect from them. In conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of their original production, three new episodes bring our party mavericks into an era of Kardashians and having to realize results of past indiscretions.

Watching our women portray these iconic tawdry extremists so deliciously brings back brilliant memories of my life in Atlanta. I would sit around with my group of best confidants watching the series, circa mid-90s, recovering from a long weekend of excessive hardcore celebrating like our Madame Monsoon and Diva Stone would pull off in a night. I’ve seen one of the newest episodes at press time and find their delivery as impeccable as ever and already yearn for more! Set the DVR, Sweetie! Alright?!

Joyful Noise starring two of our favorite ladies of stage and screen, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, hits theaters on January 13. “It’s ladies night. Oh, what a night. What a night.” Just saying this is a lesbian’s wet dream come true. Parton’s pretty and curvaceous style and Latifah’s undeniable sass and witty grit come together on film to try and save a struggling gospel choir win a national competition. Both artists have talented voices so I would bet the soundtrack will be a must-hear! Maybe we’ll even see our ladies on the red carpet during our upcoming award show season turning heads with other stunners dressed in the likes of Tom Ford, McQueen and Versace.

On January 24, speaking of struggling choirs, our hardworking cast of Glee will be delivering an entire episode of Michael Jackson smashers dedicated to the late King of Pop including Brittany and Santana singing “In the Closet” and Darren Criss’ character Blaine crooning “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” With the series having both its high notes and low registers this season, I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce with this episode. Guaranteed, the results will be detailed and dissected by critics and fans alike. Us included!

Do you consider yourself a Heather or a Booger?! Watch the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and figure it out. Now I love a good drag pageant and by the looks of the previews running on Logo TV, the new season of RDR is going to be bigger and better than ever before. The prize money for top spot as America’s Next Drag Superstar has been yanked to $125K so these other reality programs need to step up their games. It has even made me contemplate shaving my chest, taping ‘em up, tucking it back, painting my canvas and competing for the crown. Would that be so bad?!

This season’s premiere is January 30 and brings the likes of edgy competitors Sharon Needles (love that name!) and bald but beautiful The Princess; fierce mammas of size South Beach’s Latrice Royale and the self-proclaimed “Asian plus-sized Barbie” Jiggy Caliente from Queens, NY; and legendary Cher impersonator Chad Michaels from San Diego, to name just a few. There’s thirteen divas vying for the title this round and my score card is anxious for some at-home judging. Join me, please!

Toss in a few moments on the calendar for the “weird but wonderful” happening in January and we have our month: Milk Day (01/11), the Frisbee’s birthday (01/13), National Dress Up Your Pet Day (01/14), National Popcorn Day (01/19), and (my favorite) Hugging Day (01/21).

2012 © PULP

SEASONS CHANGE

STEVEN SPILLS © 107

SEASONS CHANGE

With this being the final installment of “Steven Spills” for 2011, I wanted to finish the year with a bang. These stories are from the heart. I just returned from a holiday visit home to Nashville where I checked in on mom, laughed with friends over dinner and drinks, and felt the southern Christmas magic I did as a child. However, as I looked around it wasn’t only the seasons that had changed around my old haunts in Music City USA. (Cue 80s girl-group Expose Greatest Hits for soundtrack.)

I moved on into the road of life at twenty-two when I escaped the restraints of a very tight Bible Belt and “graduated” to Atlanta. I say graduated because if one moved on from Nashville or surrounding smaller cities, that’s usually where they went on to. This was over two decades ago and things would obviously change over time but on this trip home I was reassured how much. I was continually reminded of how I had grown up and on into adulthood past a more simple way of being.

When I was twenty, I was working a part-time job here and one there and wherever else I could make a dollar. During these years, the shopping mall that was THE place to be was Hickory Hollow Mall. It was an actual event going! Where would you eat in the Food Court? Hot Dog on a Stick or Chick-Fil-A? Should you spend your allowance at Spencer’s, the arcade or Merry Go Round first? What if you see “so-and-so” and they act like they know that you told that something that you shouldn’t have but did and now they’re pissed?!

I actually worked at Hickory Hollow over time as a server at Ruby Tuesday’s, luggage store Nashville Trunk, clothing store J Riggins and Mitchell’s Formal Wear where I measured the inseam of hot straight guys standing in front of me in their socks being fitted for tuxedos. To see the place now, the crime-ridden empty mall, makes me incredibly sad. Sad enough to slightly weep to myself this last trip as I stood alone watching down at Santa Claus sitting quietly in his chair not a child to be found to sit in his lap.

The dreary weather that poured down outside didn’t help the scene at the desolate once-monumental mall. As the long corridors have begun to close in towards the middle due to inactivity, the demise of Hickory Hollow Mall is tragically inevitable. With online shopping flourishing and flagship stores evolving elsewhere, the once popular places of excessive expenditure suffer! Hello, maybe you’ve heard of the Desert Fashion Plaza?!

Nashville has grown leaps and bounds since my days of stomping around the knowing streets that still give me feelings of happiness when traveled upon. But the things that stay constant are conservative views, churches positioned every ten feet and scattered BUSH ’04 stickers that still adorn American-made car bumpers. We even tripped out to Opry Mills shopping mall that once homed Opryland USA, a fabulous theme park I spent two adolescent summers working at through stagnant heat while chopping off tops to plastic fruits that held sugary juice inside. With changing times, the theme park was finally flattened in 1997 and resurrected as a retail heaven.

Today, the still-closed shopping mall that stood against the great Nashville flood of ’10 has a predicted re-opening in the spring of ’12. But as we drove by it really seems like someone needs to be working harder because it is still quite closed. The Grand Ole Opry reopened rather quickly and has a full schedule of performers throughout the year. The beautiful holiday lights of Opryland Hotel located next door delivered some Christmas spirit to my mom and I. However, past memories of what once was dominated the conversation between us as blue and white lights twinkled over our car driving through the grand hotel grounds.

When I return from a trip home I always feel that I bring back with me another layer of my maturity. I see that my life is amazingly unique and the wonderful bubble I often take for granted here in Palm Springs shouldn’t be seen as such. Being back home in Nashville is an escape of what’s expected from me in the world I live in today. That can be a wonderful break. Just saying. I continually appreciate myself more, my life and those in it. I’ve come a long way, baby!

Happy New Year… You, Me and We.

2011 © PULP

REALITY OF “REAL HOUSEWIVES”

STEVEN SPILLS © 106

REALITY OF REAL HOUSEWIVES

They are known as Real Housewives. On ringmaster Andy Cohen’s Bravo TV, these extremist women are the ones to watch for guilty pleasure viewing. They’ve become celebrities in their own right like anyone who desperately opens their lives up to cameras. Some are expressionless, most are botoxed while the entire elitist crew of them believe they are the one the light should shine on most. And we love them all! Well, almost…

The Real Housewives of D.C. didn’t last past one season. They were boring and weren’t engaging enough to follow from each episodes. All I can remember about the cast is that there was the most engaging one with the accent and the law-breaking White House crashing fraud blonde that cheesed her way into President Obama’s party. Hello, Security?!

Then you had the Real Housewives of Miami. Popualation: The Bored and Yawning. There were fiery Latinas and the gal who had been pumped to Jesus with silicone by someone who didn’t know when to say, “Whoa!” I mean seriously. No tea, but gal… I really didn’t watch the series and couldn’t care less if and when it comes back. Both of these franchises just didn’t work because we all know the only real thing in reality television is that it’s staged and manipulated to peak and keep viewer’s interest. These did not.

Next we stop in the reality world of Nene Leakes and her fool ass (and I mean that in a genuinely sweet way.) I’ve lived in Atlanta and watching RHOA (Real Housewives of Atlanta) reminds me of numerous drag queens that fabulously raised me to be a wicked-tounged king who can deliver a verbal pounding through a set of pearly whites. Nene has had words with everyone on the show especially Miss “Tardy For the Party” Kim Zolciak with her fierce wigs and “fuck you” attitude.

Kandi Burruss has the biggest heart of any of them and the only one that has any real talent among the many singing Housewives. Wanna-be Sheree is definitely upstaged by southern belle Phaedra with stunning Apollo and gorgeous model Cynthia Bailey with silver fox Peter along for the ride. Of all the casts these women are some of the best for reality drama. Set the DVR and watch the antics while thanking God it’s not your life on display.

The only reasons to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey are to see Teresa flip out on the others and to lust after the men in their worlds. Beefy Guido types with juiced-up bodies and a swagger of delicious machismo. If you’ve ever checked out the YouTube videos of the parodies of the Housewives then you’ve surely laughed your ass off at the impeccable timing and similarities to the real women. All I can really say about these gals is that they are mostly brunette and “their family is as thick as thieves.”

In Orange County, there’s Gretchen and Slade whom I met briefly at Blue Pear. Tamara has always given me 80′s pop star Samantha Fox with her brazen ways, big blonde hair and even bigger boobs. These are the original Real Housewives and they have been going strong for seasons now and we watch continually. They are reasonably tame compared to the others.

The Real Housewives of New York cougars have continually tried to keep current with their sister casts by being just as outrageous and grand as the next. In charge, there’s Countess LuAnn and her motto “Money Can’t Buy You Class” while making Alex cringe with metrosexual husband Simon in constant tow. No matter… Alex, Cindy, Jill and Kelly are all gone next season. Yes, fired. Man-loving Sonya stays and Pinot Grigio drinking Ramona, too! The most successful reality star that came from one of these casts was from RHONY and her name is Bethenny Frankel.

And drumroll please. Our favorite of the lot are the most-confrontational and well-off-financially gals from RHOBH. On Real Housewives of Beverly Hills we love watching Queen Bee Lisa Vanderpump and Palms Casino owner Adrienne Maloof battling it out for grand dame of Beverly Hills with stunning Camille Grammer giving them a fierce run for it. Taylor Armstrong unfortunately had the demise of her marriage played out on television which sadly ended with her husband’s suicide. Newcomers Brandi has really stirred comfort levels while Dana is just happy to be included. Then the dynamic of former child stars Kim and Kyle Richards really roller coasters. Their gowns and bling are to die and husbands too fine.

2011 © PULP

GAY POP CULTURE TODAY

STEVEN SPILLS © 105

GAY POP CULTURE TODAY

Such a wacky gay world of pop culture floating around us that it’s near Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to keep it all straight. See how I tied in the new Tom Cruise film title with my need to use the word “impossible?” I’m queer like that with my words. You’ll see just how if you haven’t tasted my vernacular before. Bon Appite, Salopes. (That’s French for Bitches.) Just translating.

Here’s hoping that anyone that watched the Kim Kardashian wedding on E! feels duped with the admittance for vision of said circus. Now, sources close to the family tell that Kimmy actually wanted out at the time of the wedding but didn’t know how to back out so late in the game. It’s odd seeing the previews for Kourtney and Kim Take New York with soon to be ex-husband Kris Humphries in the mix. I love answering back to the television, “I wonder how this will turn out.” Sorry to joke… No I’m not. Why are these people famous?!

And speaking of aesthetically gifted train wrecks, please welcome to your guilty pleasure chest the first season of Logo TV’s reality round-up A-List: Dallas starring a cast of killings that are too much to take at times. I spend most of my time watching in disgust saying aloud, “Oh my God” between verbal and opinionated eye rolls. There’s the goofy laugh but 80′s porn star gorgeousness of big basket carrying Levi. He’s one shady Sadie sleeping with almost everyone he knows. Next, Chase is a proud Texan that has hair with a life of its own. He is full of pompous grandeur and has been screwing Levi behind everyone’s back.

But he’s not to be overplayed by Levi’s other bed partner, the whiny Taylor who holds his Lord above all others. His face has been brushed with the pretty powder as he shares prayers with Prayer Buddy Ashley who you may have seen from Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team seasons ago now in its sixth! She’s the only biological female on cast even though most of the guys act like bitchy women. Ashley spends most of her time in everyone else’s spotlight. This show is a mess!

Then there’s wanna-be Club Promoter James who admittedly drinks too much. I mean way too much, not doing much else other than blowing through his trust fund money on cocktails. Rounding up the motley crew is the one that stirs the drama pot the greatest, Phillip. She, I mean he, is not to be trusted. Trust. A buddy of mine from Austin tells of becoming privy to a Call Sheet once on location seeing where they were scouting locations for secrets revealed, possible table toss and another area away from a balcony in case pushing ensues. Reality, huh?! Staged and scripted, indeed. This show puts our gay culture back years it took to break through the stereotypes these nuts are reinforcing. Sad, and here I am watching them serve their self-proclaimed “Dalla-Tude” in self-induced shame.

We recently had good friend and pop star Colton Ford with his partner Angelo over for dinner at the house as we caught up with memories past over meaty steaks. The two lovelies were in town on business and Colton shared his new music with me that’s now available on iTunes. “Let Me Live Again” and “The Music Always Gets You Back” both follow in Colton’s roots of his previous dance friendly uptempo chart toppers. Whether you love Colton from his films or music videos there’s no denying his magnetic and approachable personality. Follow him on Twitter @ColtonFordMusic and find him on Facebook. Love those guys, desperately!


If you haven’t checked out FX’s original series American Horror Story then guess what… You’re missing Dylan McDermott masturbating while crying while thinking of the housekeeper who he sees as a hot young redhead but in reality is actually a dead spirit played by Frances Conroy from Six Feet Under. But not to be overwhelmed by that consider Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights fame being impregnated by a stranger dressed in a black latex hooded suit who she believes is her husband, Dylan McDelicious but is not! Throw in spooky neighbor Jessica Lange threatening to kill the housekeeper “again” then you’ve got AHS on FX. BOO!

If that’s not enough we see Glee possibly loosing its gleam, trans-activists “glitter bombing” gay activists, and gorgeous Falcon Studios models running around Palm Springs shooting not one but two films currently. And all this happening around us! Try and catch up. I have.

2011 © PULP

PALM SPRINGS LEATHER PRIDE 2011

PRIDE IN LEATHER

Last weekend in Palm Springs was the annual Leather Pride celebration bringing into town truckloads of dominant lesbians in full sadist Leather Regalia
and quiet subs being led around by their uniformed owners on leashes. All over town, leather brothers and sisters were seen united at events and representing their unique and diverse lifestyles at parties geared towards the general public and a few behind the privacy of guesthouse walls. Wherever you went the strong presence of a proud leather community was abound.

I tend to joke that working at World Gym in Palm Springs is Gay Pride every day so when these bigger weekends come to town they rarely faze me. Been there, done that, have the rainbows etched in my eyes forever. However, I do love me a big strapping man who knows how to handle a sassy southern dame like me so bring it. Palm Springs Leather Pride 2011 promised to excite and tantalize from early on in the week with men wearing ink and facial fur blazing.

As the Gay Gods and Mother Nature fought it out with cold rain and clouds, we locals wondered if the chill would deter our wonderful visitors. It did make for great opportunity to dust of the leathers and slide them on which everyone did. Friday evening a Formal Dinner was held at Leon’s that’s relocated to the Desert Princess and from what I hear men in sexy Leather Chaps
were sitting around eating delicious beef which is a picture Norman Rockwell didn’t know to paint. “Leather Wearing Beef Eaters,” in oils.

Later Friday evening the Tool Shed hoisted and hosted the Leather Vendor Market and Back Lot Party. The warmth of cigar fire on stogies, testosterone pouring out of horny pores, tight leather pants pulled across muscular asses and strong cocktails poured by the Tool Shed’s finest kept the masses happy and warm all night into the wee morning hours. Across the way one could see an impromptu demonstration between a slave and Master then make a 180-degree turn and witness the hotties from their gym exchanging saliva (or was that sativa?!) with each other. Just saying.

As it rained sporadically between thick clouds and overcast gloom on Saturday I found myself with famed photographer Tim Courtney discussing world domination at Jake’s over delicious lunch positioned perfectly under the awning outside. I watched leather clad men walking hand in hand down Palm Canyon over my glass white sangria. With a cupcake to-go, I was off to take lunch to my husband and decide what I was wearing to the Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2012 contest later that evening.

Arriving a few minutes late to the Palm Springs Convention Center, we made it through the door during the Presentation category which is first. Now I love a good pageant, err, contest and thought it smart to hold it outside in the lobby with big screens and stage because from outside it looked grand instead of shoving it inside a ballroom. People were able to mill about the Silent Auction, cruise one another, meet and meat old friends while emcee Lenny Broberg kept things moving as he always does. He is the one to have at a leather contest. I’d love to master his ceremonies be it hosting a contest with him or one-on-one something just him and I, and his San Francisco police uniform.

The judges had a hard job because the top spots were very close from what we in the audience saw on stage. I say “we” since like you I quietly judged from my various seats in the house just not on the official panel with judges Stephen Blackwell, Alex Lindsey, Amy Marie Meek, Anthony Rollar, Utah Rox, Rik “Hooker” Newton and Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2011 Drew Kramer dressed in fierce orange leather from head to boots. With four strong contestants all holding their own on stage through categories of Physique/Jockstrap and Formal Leather Wear/On-Stage Speech the title was anyone’s to take. But only one leatherman did. Here’s the scoop…

Michael Mitchell, Mr. Leather Indulgence 2012, was an excited blond who admitted proudly to being a pumper and enjoys the fantasy of a group of hot men while spinning in a Lazy Susan chair. His body from my view was on-point smooth and ripped beyond belief. Michael started things off while the next contestant Mr. Tool Shed Leather 2012 Todd Peter brought beefy back which was more my taste.

Todd came in prepared and clearly confidence was on his side not to mention the roaring crowd. Lenny soon handed over the microphone to a jock-clad Todd after asking him “What do you have hidden in your secret closet?” The crowd gave a collective “Ah…” after an inked-up Mr. Peter admitted he wishes that he had a clone of his boyfriend Todd because he loved him so much he wants two. When Todd smiled the spotlight bounced off his pearly whites and he lit up Palm Springs.

The next contestant was Mr. Streetbar Leather 2012, Thomas Oliva, who also seemed like a seasoned pro. He had that delicious masculine beef I tend to appreciate in my men and a genuine swagger of humility but strength. Mr. Oliva’s speech was from the heart about coming out in a leather bar for the first time and what it meant to him. The crowd really cheered him after his speech.

Rounding up the four was Mr. DiGS Leather 2012 Lenny Lesemen. Lenny seemed like he was having fun, represented DiGS very well for being their first representative and placed fourth. Michael placed next in third with the top two being Thomas and Todd. There wasn’t a contestant representative from Barracks even though someone roamed the crowd in a Mr. Barracks Leather 2012 title vest. When I asked about not competing he quickly replied that he competed last year and walked off. I thought it peculiar to be last year’s winner and wear next year’s title vest.

And drum roll, please… Our new Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2012 is Todd Peter who deservedly won and now prepares for Chicago during Memorial Day Weekend competing for International Mr. Leather 2012 hopefully to bring back the title of IML to Palm Springs like Gary Iriza did a few short years ago. The Recon Victory Dark Dance Party soon followed the contest and Sexy Men in Leather danced into the darker hours of morning.

Helios hosted the Sunday Pool Party BBQ which I translate as “Play Party with Food.” Luckily sunshine came out giving a taste of each weather trend over the course of a weekend. Later that day Barracks packed ‘em in so tight some bitter queen couldn’t get to the bar fast enough to get a drink so she dialed 911 getting police involved by clearing out the place around 6:30. Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it happened but police did stop by taking care of the way-over-capacity crowd that Barracks tends to allow. They cleaned house regulating how many came back in at a time. Such a drastic finale to this great weekend. Good Luck to Todd Peter at IML next May! We’ll be watching for you to take the title, Mister.

2011 © PULP

FOLSOM STREET FAIR 2011

FOLSOM STREET FAIR 2011

I’m honest in saying that I had zero interest in going to the Folsom Street Fair this past September when VIP tickets to the 40th Anniversary Party of Falcon Studios unexpectedly came across my desk. The glossy tickets reflected the light perfectly while I hoped to give them to some willing and deserving participants who would be going for the leather fest since I would not be. I had only been to the fair once before but I was certainly a much different person then and it really hadn’t crossed my mind to go again. When Jacques sat across from me the weekend prior at Lakeside in Wynn Las Vegas asking, “Well, have you even thought about going to Folsom Street this year?” all I could think to myself is, “I am now!”

Folsom Street Fair is the finale to a huge week of leather events, parties and entertainment benefiting various charities throughout the Bay Area . I didn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon and literally crashed with my generous friend Mikel I’ve known for years. After settling in off my United flight from PSP, I showered and met up with my BFF Brian, better known as “Jack Ryan” and pressed it to the Falcon party that was in conjunction with its brother company Raging Stallion’s 10th Anniversary infamous Folsom Weekend Party. Our town car dropped us off at the door of Mezzanine and what I expected to be VIP and exclusive was more like “the more the merrier” so we adapted and had fun nonetheless.

Once inside, local leatherman and owner of Gear on Sunny Dunes porn star Rik Jammer was looking pumped up and delicious while posing for photos. Sister Roma from the San Francisco Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and I reunited quickly and had some special giggles about days gone by. Falcon man Landon Conrad was upstairs with photographer Mocha, beefy god Angelo Marconi roamed the dark outreaches of the club while inked-up Alessio Romero nodded at me towards the end of the bar over his beer. The club was packed and the music bumping. Dinner called us away and the car quickly came back around to scoop us up towards food. The town was koo-koo with homomasculinity and I was loving every minute of it.

Eureka Lounge was quite busy for dinner but luckily we were seated rather quickly. I was thrilled to finally sit down for a minute and relax from the rushing of my arrival into San Francisco earlier in the day. Our delicious dinner included pot roast, gumbo and duck pate with espresso and a latte for energy after. Brian soon had the car scoot us down Market Street towards Rebel where Chi Chi LaRue was DJ’ing and Sister Roma was hosting gaggles of gorgeous gays and their admirers. The club was quite smaller and ridiculously packed full of go-go dancers, drunk patrons and a man who was growing annoyed by it all named Steven Michael. I just don’t do clubs anymore and my patience level is low at best. I know when it’s time for me to go.

I left Brian there at Rebel to fend for himself and my taxi shamelessly delivered me to a very unique establishment for men-only called Blow Buddies before dropping me at home moments later. Shockingly enough… a taxi showed me the way there twice during the weekend. Someone told me that Blow Buddies would be a great place to drop of some promotional cards for my website iamstevenmichael.com so I did. I thank me for such a brilliant idea since I’m the one who had it. It seemed that the men inside the club really appreciated what my website could offer. I felt very pretty from all the attention of the gentleman callers cursing and perusing about me like vultures. Just saying.

Sunday morning was gloomy and cool so rushing to the Fair wasn’t something I felt like I needed to do right away. The windows were open and a breeze blew through Mikel’s place while I simply enjoyed being away from it all for a few days. I could look out the window and easily find something to interest me from skyscrapers to people walking the streets so I lived that feeling for a bit before cleaning up and connecting again with Brian to head over. I had taken a few pieces of leather but when it was all said and done I’m glad I didn’t kill myself over it because I really wasn’t feeling like getting up in it. I threw on a thermal with a t-shirt option underneath with shorts and pressed it over to Folsom for the Fair.

The city was alive with the celebration of leather, fetish and BD/SM lifestyle. It was everywhere from the leather flags that blew in the breeze or the bare-ass in the chaps walking in front of you. As I walked the streets of San Francisco I recalled my first Folsom Street Fair even walking by the same hotel we stayed at in ’97 which brought the entire thing full circle. I was living in Ft. Lauderdale and just getting started in the leather scene. I was very fresh to it all and quite impressionable.

During my time in Ft. Lauderdale, I was asked by the owners of the Ramrod to enter Mr. South Florida Drummerboy, a preliminary to Mr. Florida Drummerboy. I knew I wasn’t a “boy” per-say but I competed and won both contests which took me to San Francisco for the international finals of Mr. Drummer and Drummerboy. I was a hard sell to most in the Florida leather brotherhood because “old guard” tends to shy away from anyone that they don’t know. To most of them I was just a stripper who worked in leather bars. To many, it was a fluke that I won. While learning about myself I figured that a crash course would be best so I did it on stage. How did I win without much support of the community in large, you ask?! Perseverance… and I know what judges want to see from a winner.

Once I made it to the finals I competed against six other contestants but also knew that I really wasn’t the one that should win. During the days leading up to the International Mr. Drummer finals we “boys” submitted to the Mr Drummer contestants’ needs and assisted in anything called upon doing since they would be the ones voting on the winner for International Mr. Drummerboy. It was here I shot my first of many magazine spreads. While others kneeled to one knee in full submission I found myself taking a sold stance behind my contestant and had a slightly bowed head, hands cupped behind me. Like I mentioned, I knew I wasn’t what the title requested but I was hellbent on doing well to put the naysayers in their place.

In the end, the Mr. Drummer contestants voted and three times there was a tie between another and myself. Finally the tie broke and I thankfully placed first-runner up. Everything happened perfectly and I was thrilled it was over. Jeffrey Adler, Mr. Florida Drummer won International Mr. Drummer and I was very proud to be part of that. My boyish goatee quickly became a fu manchu mustache and I hit the streets and dance floors until the wee hours of the a.m. The next day was my very first taste of the Folsom Street Fair and what an open lifestyle in fetish could be like. Dressed in some skimpy strap shorts being led around by a daddy from Amsterdam, I was living hard. Flash forward fourteen years and there I was walking by it all again.

If one can imagine it then it’s possible at the Folsom Street Fair. Walking up I realized that it wasn’t a fluke that public nudity had become quite present and accepted since seeing some dangling cocks lining the walls of the Castro. There were pierced clits and bare breasts for the straight men and horny lesbians while an open scene of oral sex happened in the midst of amateur photographers with their smartphones positioned for the money shot. The porn star getting blown was carrying on a conversation with his buddies while the hoard of perverts breathed heavily waiting. I found it all very amusing.

Poor victims were restrained to St. Andrew’s crosses while bare backs bled with marks and bruises from whips and floggers. People watched gawking with baby strollers and children at crotch level. Remember the nudity?! Not pretty and so inappropriate. Beefy Titan porn stars signed autographs for hot blonde trannies as we passed by soaking in every angle of every moment. At the Folsom Street Fair, leathermen and women unite and celebrate their individuality living for the time they have. Check out Folsom Street Fair for all the details. Make your plans now and don’t wait until the week before like I did. Sadly, I missed some great parties before I arrived.

2011 © PULP